Frozen Limoncello Parfaits

Surviving the weekend: brought to you by sore feet, bruised knuckles, and burnt finger tips.

Yeah — I just started a new job.

Other than a few mishaps here and there, everything is going well — it’s not my ideal type of work (their pastry is very “homey” and everything gets garnished with a gooseberry), but I work with friendly people and I stay pretty busy on dessert station most of the night.

That said, having the last two months off has definitely been nice.

As a person who’s almost always had kind of employment (and school) going on since age 15, finally being able to afford some downtime has been unreal.

I went to the beach, slept in, caught up with friends, did nothing, made sketches of desserts and played around in my tiny kitchenette on more productive days.

Sigh — going back to work is always bitter-sweet…

On one hand I love working and being busy, but on the other hand I like being able to sit around with a glass of wine whenever I want.

Oh, and making tasty things whenever I want, like frozen limoncello parfaits.

This creamy, chilled dessert is packed with fresh lemon flavour: it contains lemon juice, lemon zest, and limoncello liqueur.

You can set it in metal entremet rings lined with acetate (if you’ve got that kind of thing on hand!), small bowls, glasses, or ramekins.

This recipe is infinitely easier to make if you have a thermometer on hand, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary — if your pastry skills are strong enough to know how whisk and cook a sabayon, bloom and melt gelatin, and fold a mousse, then you’re golden.

Expect to get 6 desserts out of this recipe.

Frozen Limoncello Parfaits

*slightly adapted from Desserts by Michel Roux


  • 1 large egg
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
  • zest of two large lemons, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) limoncello liqueur, chilled
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) gelatin
  • 1 & 1/4 cup (300ml) heavy cream
  • topping of choice: chocolate sauce, fresh berries, shortbread crumbs…


Whisk the egg, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in the top pot of a double-boiler.

Vigorously whisk the lemon sabayon base in the double-boiler — you want it to become thick and foamy and fall from the whisk in a thick ribbon.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In the meanwhile, pour the cold limoncello liqueur into a small saucepan — add your gelatin, wait 5 minutes for it to bloom, and then warm the limoncello over low heat, gently stirring to dissolve the gelatin.

If you’re wondering if the gelatin is dissolved or not, use your fingers to test the limoncello — if you rub your fingertips together and still feel granules of gelatin, then keep melting/stirring.

When the gelatin is dissolved, add the warm limoncello to the cooked lemon sabayon and whisk to combine.

At this point, the lemon sabayon has to cool to 20 ~ 25°C (or 68 ~ 77°F), or until it feels about room temperature when touched. Whisk the sabayon occasionally until it reaches this point — too hot and it will melt your whipped cream and deflate your parfait mixture.

Once the lemon sabayon is the right temperature, whisk the heavy cream until it forms very soft peaks (as in, it hardly holds a peak at all).

Add half the whipped cream into the sabayon, and give it a few folds to start incorporating the two together. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until the mixture becomes homogenous.

Portion the lemon parfait mixture into 6 individual serving vessels, then place them all in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set.

Once frozen, serve with warm chocolate sauce, raspberry coulis, lavender syrup, fresh fruit, shortbread crumbs, or whatever else you’d like.

I went with warm chocolate sauce (a colleague’s recipe that I can’t share, sorry!) and fresh berries, since I love lemon and chocolate together — the sweet acidity of the lemon really balances well with the bitterness of dark chocolate. Yum!

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9 thoughts on “Frozen Limoncello Parfaits

  1. What a stunning dessert, Christine.

  2. ohhh Congrats on starting work! I’m jealous that you get to work at a pastry store =) Being busy can be nice, but having nothing to do can be fun too. Life needs a little bit of both.

  3. daisy says:

    Congratulations on the new job! I’m sure you’ll be great.

    Very nice dessert, as always!!


  4. It looks so good!! Chilly lemon in the summer is so nice ^-^
    Congrats on the job!

  5. Michelle says:

    Congrats on the new job (though sorry about the resulting lack of wine). And, oh, what a wonderful dessert. As soon as I get my kitchen back from the painters, I am definitely trying this!

  6. Downtime is good for the best of us. Congrats on the job! And the dessert is beautiful.

  7. EveryCraving says:

    Good luck with your new job! These parfaits look delicious! I always enjoy reading your blog because you make stuff I’ve never heard of or seen before. You’re very creative and unique!

  8. lulu says:

    This looks beautiful! I have some limencello so I’m definitely going to try this. Congrats on the new gig!

  9. Susan says:

    Oh how delightful! Your instructions are wonderfully clear. I hardly ever make frozen desserts anymore because my freezer is TINY and PALTRY (and I have to clear out all the meat first) but oh how I’d love to try this one. And congratulations on the job!

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